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10 Things To Know About The Electoral Reforms Controversy

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10 Things To Know About The Electoral Reforms Controversy

The Congress, DMK, NCP, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena and the BSP opposed the Election Laws Bill.

Highlights

  • The “Election Laws (Amendment) Bill” was cleared in the Lok Sabha today
  • Opposition parties said the move could lead to more non-citizens voting
  • The government called the opposition’s objections misguided and baseless

New Delhi:
Four changes in the electoral law, the key one allowing linking of Aadhaar to the voter identity card, was passed in the Lok Sabha amid uproar today. The opposition demanded a review of the bill, arguing against the Aadhaar-voter I-card link.

Here are the Top 10 points in this story:

  1. The opposition has contended that allowing the Aadhaar card-voter ID link could play into the hands of non-citizens, who can take advantage of the law and vote by just showing Aadhaar.

  2. “Aadhaar was meant to be proof of residence, not  citizenship. If you are asking for an Aadhar card from the voter, all you get is a document that reflects residence. You are potentially giving voting rights to non-citizens,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said in the Lok Sabha.

  3. The Congress, MK Stalin’s DMK, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena and the BSP opposed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha today.

  4. The YSR Congress, too, sought scrutiny and debate on the bill and asked the government to return with a comprehensive version.

  5.  Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal opposed the way the bill was introduced and passed.

  6. Under the right to privacy judgment of the Supreme Court, the seeding of Aadhaar with voter identity cards will be voluntary.

  7. The project to link Aadhaar with electoral data was started by the Election Commission as part of process reforms. The idea was to stop multiple entries in electoral rolls and make them error-free.

  8. The poll panel had even started collecting Aadhaar numbers as part of its National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP).

  9. But the Supreme Court order on Aadhaar in August 2015 put the brakes on it. The order made it clear that legal sanction is required to collect Aadhaar numbers.

  10. The Election Commission then proposed a change in the electoral law. The proposal was pending with the government since.

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